Forget the large generic Hawaiian gift stores in Honolulu – consider supporting smaller local Hawaiian businesses that offer similar merchandise at competitive prices. Often the quality of the products are superior, and more likely to be sourced or crafted locally. At Rainbow Bridge Gift Shop, not only will you get the chance to ‘talk story’ with the friendly owner Patti-Anne, you may also learn some interesting things about local culture.
Located just next to the Rainbow Bridge on the Waimea side of the river in Hale’iwa on Oahu’s North Shore. As you travel over the bridge heading east, the shop is immediately to your right and parking is available in the side street. Look for the colorful hanging sarongs and you can’t miss it.
Patti-Anne was born and raised Oahu, moved to San Francisco when she was 19, and returned home to Oahu where she has resided for 20 years pursuing her retail passion and her love of meeting people from all walks of life, who frequent her colorful store.
As well as a vibrant display of sarongs, pretty clothing, locally-made aloha shirts and bright beach towels, she has a wonderful collection of jewellery made by local friends, including some rare and treasured Sunrise Shells for sale. The prices are very reasonable. They also have ukuleles for sale and if you are lucky Patti’s daughter may be there to strum a tune for you.
We were met with a big smile as we walked into Patti-Anne's store, and she welcomed us with warm aloha. We immediately started talking and laughing with her. I was looking for that perfect gift for a friend, and the right sarong to suit her style. Patti-Anne had some fabulous ideas of how to wear a sarong – she had at least half a dozen innovative ways to drape it, and kindly she took the time to show me her suggestions.
We left feeling really happy with our purchases and most of all gladdened by the experience of connecting with a true Oahu local who had many interesting stories to tell. Rainbow Bridge is a great place to do your souvenir shopping while on North Shore, all in one convenient location.